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Piece-by-piece, the Calgary Stampeders offensive line is coming together for the 2020 season.
There is still one big question mark in the form of Derek Dennis, but on Friday morning the Stampeders secured the services of another big piece when they signed Ucambre Williams to a two-year deal that will keep him in Calgary through the end of the 2021 season.
Williams has emerged as one of the best offensive linemen in the entire CFL in recent years, although he remains somewhat underappreciated nationwide.
Not around McMahon Stadium, though.
Williams has been starting on the Stamps o-line since 2017, when he earned the team’s nomination for Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman and was a West Division all-star.
He kept up that level of play for the past two seasons and was slotted for a move from centre to right tackle in 2019. That plan changed in training camp, though, when Brad Erdos suffered a season-ending knee injury.
That meant Williams played most games at centre, although he did start four at left tackle.
That makes things interesting for the Stamps heading into 2020.
With Canadians Justin Lawrence, Shane Bergman and Ryan Sceviour all signed-on for next year and Erdos likely available, the Stamps will likely be able to start three Canadians on the o-line – at both guard positions and centre – meaning Williams is likely going to be out at one of the tackle positions.
The Stamps still don’t have Dennis or Nila Kasitati signed for next year, and both guys were starters, so it will be interesting to see whether they opt to try to bring both back for 2020.
The Stamps also announced they have re-signed defensive end Folarin Orimolade on Friday afternoon.
Orimolade seemed primed to take over a starting job and have a breakout year in 2019, only to suffer a quadriceps injury that ended his year in the very first pre-season game of the Stampeders’ schedule.
It was a tough blow for the team and came in the midst of a brutal stretch for defensive linemen on the team’s roster.
Orimolade was back to intensely working out quickly, though, and appeared to be well on the road to recovery by the time the season was winding down.
The 24-year-old Dartmouth product is expected to be available for the start of 2020 training camp, and with Chris Casher still unsigned, he could form part of a dangerous defensive end tandem with Cordarro Law, who also re-signed this week.
In other Stamps news, last year’s starting halfback DaShaun Amos has been busy in December, as sources confirmed he has had or will have workouts with the Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019